Ausubel’s Learning Theory

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2 Responses

  1. Arbi Mchiche says:

    Salam si Mohamad,
    Thanks a lot for the neatly and succintly written article on Ausubel’s learning theory.I was reading the article with the eye of an EFL teacher and had wondered and even expressed some doubts about the limitations of this theory in an EFL learning context. What I have in mind in particular is the learner’s first encouter with a foreign language. Let’s take the example of an Amazigh or an Arab whose language systems are completely different from that of the English language. I don’t think that “ascertaining what these ‘two’ learners already know and teaching them accordingly” would be of much help in the learning journey. Perhaps, unlearning or at least neutralizing some governing rules of their native languages would be much welcomed in order to pave the way to a smooth and clash-free foreign language experience. I might be dead wrong on this, but on what follows I’m “dead” certain Ausubel’ theory is an echo of theory Don’t you think that if not I would like
    Plato’s famous and long-established theory on learning :”knowledge is reminescence”

    Kindest reagards,
    Arbi Mchiche ( )

  2. Hi Si Arbi
    Glad to hear from you!

    As you rightly mentioned languages may differ and interference of L1 may hamper the foreign language learning proccess. Nevertheless, languages do have universals that can be of great help to efl learners. Here are some examples

    1. A lot of languages have VERBs, NOUNS, ADJECTIVES, ….
    2. Agreement is another syntactic feature that exists in many languages.

    What is more, some shared beliefs and concepts can be used by teachers to build new knowledge. For instance, teachers can build on knowledge about the world to help students see the whole picture. Teachers can use the news, everyday life, personal experience… And I think these things constitute one essential componenent of what Ausubel refer to when he says:

    “The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly”

    Rhalmi Mohammed

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